To determine the potency to be given has been much more difficult than to determine the repetition of the dose. I have put in a great deal of time studying this question of the dose. I have put in a great deal of time studying this question. The method has been much the same as that employed in determining the repetition of the dose, viz., to study the reports of provers and patients (Clinical cases), and to ascertain from our encyclopaedias and journals the potency used when the group of symptoms similar to the one under consideration was caused or cured.
In this study of both provers and patients special attention should be given to the make-up. When the potency is not given in the recorded cases, a higher potency should be selected for the markedly neurotic and the highly susceptible patients, than for the dull, sluggish, unimpressionable ones. Another element enters into deciding on the potency, and that is whether the case is an acute or chronic one. The potency should always be higher and the time waiting to determine whether the remedy given is acting or not should be much longer for chronic than acute cases.
One more case to illustrate. I made the acquaintance of Dr. H.C. Allen while he was at Ann Arbor. After he moved to Chicago we become more intimate. He advised his sister Jennie, who lives in Iowa, to employ me. I sent him many patients in Chicago. One of these patients who called Allen was a maiden lady about fifty. She had been a patient of mine about twenty-five years. She had often come to me for the following group of symptoms : A dry cough, worse at night, causing her to sit up, worse after eating and drinking, worse from coming into a warm room. The cough was accompanied by stitching pains in the chest and abdomen; a splitting, bursting headache. Allen gave her Bryonia 1m, one dose. Twenty-four hours later he found her no better; in fact, a little worse, as there was a little rise in temperature.
He repeated his prescription. Thirty-six hours later he called and got the same report : “No better, if anything, worse, ” and in addition to the report, “Dr. Royal used to give me five discs every two hours and I usually began to improve after the tenth dose and speedily got well.” Allen called me on the phone. “What did you give Miss W. For her bronchial attacks? ” I replied, “Bryonia.” Allen retorted,”So have I, but it did her no good whatever.” In reply to “What potency?” He said, 1m, one dose.” I replied, “I tried the 1m, also the 30th, with her at first with the same results you have secured. Give her five drops of the 3rd every two hours.” Allen and Miss W. both told me the 3rd acted as usual.